“Memory is not a thing that happens to you; you create your memories…The greatest secret of a powerful memory is to bring information to life with your endless imagination” ‐ Kevin Horsley
Author Kevin Horsley always assumed he had a bad memory. But after learning a few simple memory techniques, Horsley trained himself to remember the first 10,000 digits of pi, get 5th place in the World Memory Championships, and earn the title ‘International Grandmaster of Memory.’ There are two primary methods that Horsley and other ‘International Grandmasters of Memory’ use to remember vast amounts of information.
You can use these two methods to remember the name of every person you meet, and details of every presentation you deliver
Use your imagination to create a rich sensory experience in your mind.
To remember the last name of the author, Horsley, visualize a horse.
Then imagine touching it, smelling it, hearing it, and tasting it… Okay, tasting a horse is a bit gross, but it’s memorable!
Make the horse pink and make it the size of a house.
The goal is to be extreme, ridiculous, and funny.
Horsley says, “The more illogical the image, the more it will stick…There is no scientific evidence to prove that learning should be serious.”
Lastly, energize your mental image by tapping into your inner Walt Disney and turn the image into a motion picture. See the horse running,
jumping, or getting launched over a house with a cannon! “Your mind is the greatest home entertainment center ever created.” ‐ Mark Victor Hanson Use the S.E.E. method to remember a new word by thinking of images that sound like sections of the word.
For example, if you’re giving a presentation on the brain and you need to recall the neurotransmitter Serotonin (the neurotransmitter
which produces a feeling of happiness), you could see your friend Sara (sounds like the first part of “Sero‐ton‐in”), with a giant
musical note on her head (reminds you of tone, the second part of “Ser‐ton‐in”), jumping through a field of daisies (reminds you of
When you have a long list of items you need to remember, like five stories for an upcoming presentation or ten ingredients of a recipe,
place the items on your list in the memory of a familiar environment.
Our minds are great at remembering the details of familiar environments.
Close your eyes and imagine walking through your house.
Can you visualize your front door? Your kitchen? Your TV room? Your stairs? And your bathroom?
You can leverage your memory of environments to memorize new information. If, for example, you want to remember the five main
ingredients of a chicken soup recipe (onion, garlic, carrot, chicken, egg noodles), you can place those ingredients around your mental
– At the front door, you can see a giant onion with legs and arms doing jumping jacks.
– When you walk through your front door and into your kitchen, you can see the sink overflowing with garlic cloves.
– Then, as you walk into your TV room, you can see two giant carrots making out on your couch.
– As you walk up the stairs, you can see dozens of chickens flying at you and feathers flying everywhere.
– Finally, when you go into the upstairs bathroom, you can imagine undressing and have a bath in a tub full of warm egg noodles.
“Some people say, ‘I will run out of space.’ (But) if I gave you a truck full of objects to place in a shopping mall, would you be able to do that? Of course, you would. If you look for it, you will find thousands and thousands of places just waiting to be used in your mind. There are no limits to this system, only limits in your own thinking.” – Kevin Horsley